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Homemade and All Natural Sunscreens Becoming a Trend

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On days like today, everyone knows to slather on the sunscreen. But now many consumers are questioning what is in sunscreen products.

Some parents worry that the FDA approved sunscreen ingredient oxybenzone can affect hormone production. It’s a commonly used UV
filter. Although most doctors say the amount of this chemical in sunscreen is not nearly enough to be harmful, it's sparked a conversation about sunscreens and even caused some parents to opt for homemade sunscreen.

Father Larry Kinckley had sunscreen on hand at the opening day of the Sangamon County Fair Wednesday.

"My philosophy is, it stops you from getting burnt and spending a lot of time inside healing up," Kinckley said.



He admits he’s researched the best sun protection for his
family, and chose a brand he believes to be reputable. He stuck with a
commercially produced spray.

A grandmother at the fairgrounds, Tracy Shafer, says sunscreen is a daily part of her routine, and she makes sure her granddaughter values sun protection as well.

"I love the sun, I love being outside, but sunscreen is vitally important. And I'm a two time cancer survivor so sunscreen is pretty essential for me," Shafer said.

Shafer also noted she’s done her research on sunscreen ingredients and is mildly concerned about the products, but since store bought sunscreens help prevent skin cancer and premature aging, she chooses to continue using them. Some parents have opted to go mid-way between a commercial product and a homemade sunscreen, hoping to mix convenience with a healthy option.

“I usually try to look for all natural or scent free. He's got eczema so I don't want anything that makes that flare up, and just something that has a high SPF," Mother Megan Smith said about her young son.

Many sunscreens contain the UV filters zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. According to WebMD, the ingredients offer broad spectrum sun protection. But many commercial sunscreen products shrink the minerals down so they're colorless on the skin, and there's a debate that these tiny nanoparticles can get past the skin and potentially be harmful.

A medical professional with Springfield Clinic says she doesn't believe any commercial sunscreens are harmful, but as long as a sunscreen provides broad spectrum UV protection at an appropriate SPF level, she's also not opposed to the trend of making homemade sunscreens.

"As long as it's safe and follows the guidelines we mentioned, then we don't have any objections to it. But with anything, caution is key," Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Angie Younker said.

Another concern over constant sunscreen use is whether it keeps kids from getting enough Vitamin D, found naturally in the sun's rays. Younker says not to worry, even when wearing sunscreen, kids can still get some Vitamin D.

No matter what kind of sunscreen is used, it's important to
re-apply often, especially when sweating or in water. Beware trying a homemade sunscreen, as many homemade sunscreen recipes are not as water resistant as what you can buy at the store.

Homemade and All Natural Sunscreens Becoming a Trend


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